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Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service consults on four year plan

Steve Healey – Chief Fire Officer for Cumbria

Cumbria County Council acts as the Fire Authority for Cumbria. Its role is to make sure that the people of Cumbria are protected by an efficient and effective fire and rescue service. The Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) is the document the fire and rescue service will deliver against on behalf of the Council to make this happen.

Currently, the service has an IRMP covering the period 2016-2020, however this document is under continuous review to take in to account the latest information about risk. The refreshed IRMP 2019-2023 and supporting Risk Based Evidence Profile (RBEP) reflects up to date risk analysis and evaluates how the service is currently performing. It outlines the People, Prevention, Protection and Response Strategies that will be used to control and mitigate risk across Cumbria.

The draft plan has now been published on cumbria.gov.uk/fire and a public consultation will run until 8 February 2019. A decision on whether or not to agree the new plan will be made by Full Council in April 2019 following consideration of the consultation feedback. Feedback can be submitted to [email protected]

The new IRMP includes a number of proposals for change, including:

  • Exploring further opportunities to collaborate with other partners, including Emergency Services, Health and the Voluntary sector to deliver more holistic prevention activities
  • Increasing our apprenticeship programme to include Fire Protection Business Safety Advisors
  • Putting in place a fire protection structure that meets the outcomes and recommendations from the independent review of building regulations and fire safety and the Grenfell Tower public enquiry
  • Developing CFRS commercialisation/income generation programme
  • Following the evaluation of a pilot, we will consider replacing the large Fire Engines at Arnside, Staveley and Frizington, and the second fire engine at Maryport, with smaller, more agile Rapid Response Vehicles (RRV) that are more suitable to the risk, demand and geography of our county
  • Developing the concept of satellite resources in relatively low risk and demand areas or in areas where our fire stations are in close proximity to others
  • Working with our blue light partners to explore the feasibility of developing new blue light hubs across the county

A number of other proposals are also included.

Cumbria’s Chief Fire Officer, Steve Healey, said: “The service is constantly reviewing the level of risk in the county and how we can make most effective use of the resources we have.

“Central to the delivery of the IRMP is the recognition that if we are to be successful, we must work with a wide range of partners across Cumbria. We must put prevention at the heart of everything we do, and consider wider risks to allow us to protect some of the most vulnerable in our society.

“In working in partnership with other blue light colleagues, and considering the best response to certain types of incidents, the IRMP also considers changes that can be made to enhance the service to the people of Cumbria.

“These new proposals are intended to put us in the best possible position to respond to incidents and keep people safe.”

Cllr Janet Willis, Cabinet Member for Customers, Transformation and Fire and Rescue, said: “Today we’ve approved the start of consultation on these proposals; we’ve not made any final decisions. I’d encourage people to take the time to read the plan and respond to the consultation. My Cabinet colleagues and I are keen to understand the views of stakeholders and the public before we reach any conclusions.”

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